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least messy airbrush

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#1 foxbat426


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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:37 PM

Would like to hear other modelers opinions on the type of airbrush they use and why. airbrushes to me are a bit messy and a bit of a hassle vs. a spray can, but i have a feeling there is much less buffing etc if an airbrush is used properly.


I shoot mostly enamels. I've used the badger 250,in the past, which is a low end brush, but got good results. Cans are very convienient, but something tells me an airbrush would be better. the only problem is the hassle. The little air hole clogs on the siphon feed bottles etc etc and it can get messy.


I think at this stage i would prefer a single action and i'm wondering if gravity feed might be the way to go vs. siphon fed. also does internal mix buy me anything more over external??  I'm not into detailing much with flames etc, but do love to lay down smooth finishes with little work at the end with sanding and buffing.


would love to hear all and any opinions on specific models etc. Thanks!!



Edited by foxbat426, 19 March 2014 - 03:45 PM.

#2 64SS350


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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:35 PM

I learned from Donn Yost and his awesome vidoes that a Passche single action gun works great. Easy to clean up, no more needle and seat clogs! I started using automotive enamels last year, the money savings alone would convince you to use the airbrush more, but I use a variety of paints, also cans for covenience sometimes.



#3 Art Anderson

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:54 PM

IMO, "Paasche H-series" says it all.



#4 Chief Joseph

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:09 AM

IMHO, a gravity-fed airbrush with the paint cup built into the airbrush body is about a million times easier to clean than an airbrush that uses a separate color cup or jar.  

#5 Mike_G


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:23 AM

A gravity-feed brush is definitely the easiest to clean up- I just spray some carb cleaner in the cup and blow it out.


Also, if you want to do a fade or gradient (ghost flames perhaps) you can just add a drop of color to the cup and stir it up with a toothpick and you're ready to go.

#6 Bill J

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:19 AM

I have about 12 or more airbrushes, I have pretty much tried most of them on the market. There are good points to a gravity feed but it is easy to spill paint with the open cup and it is also easy for contaminates to fall in. If you are switching colors and then back again to the first color, it may be hard with the gravity feed. A simple alternative, and the best of both worlds is to buy an airbrush with a metal cup included that can be used like the gravity feed cup when you are painting a single color and want a quick cleanup. A gravity feed with a covered cup might be a nice system, I have never owned one though.


Presently,  I use 3 of my airbrushes. For metalizers and Alclad I use a Badger 200 single-action. I have the fine needle and tip in it. It gives me positive control on the amount of paint being sprayed because you screw the adjustment in or out to the amount you desire. For small parts and things like chassis, I use a Paasche VL double-action, which has the medium needle and tip. The double-action lets me widen my coverage on larger parts and areas and use a more narrow spray on small areas. For painting bodies, I use an Iwata Eclipse double-action. It is very smooth to operate and gives me the best results.


All three designs above take one steel cup if I want to use it like a gravity feed. I can't recall the last time I did use it, very seldom. I have bottle spray caps that fit different size bottles and lots of empty bottles, so it is not a big deal to clean a cap and bottle. I use cheap lacquer thinner for all my airbrush cleaning and they all clean very easy. I just make sure to keep them clean and leave them clean when all wrapped up for awhile. 

Edited by Bill J, 20 March 2014 - 07:21 AM.

#7 jaymcminn


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:50 AM

I use two brushes, both gravity-feed dual action. My Iwata Revolution is great for detail and fine work. My "blunt instrument" is a pistol-grip Master airbrush I got from TCP Global for $55. It moves a lot of paint in a wide spray pattern and feels more like a spray gun... great for single color paint jobs and clear coats. I used siphon-feed brushes for years and can't get over how much nicer the gravity-feed brushes are. They're easier to clean, operate at lower PSI, and color changes are much quicker too. You also waste/use less paint... if you only need to do a quick job or touch up, a few drops in the color cup is sufficient.

#8 Bill J

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:43 PM

To me, the fact that most paints I use require mixing with thinner or reducer, it is easier to mix in an airbrush bottle than in a paint cup built into the airbrush. The exception is metalizer and Alclad paints, they come airbrush ready. I could see using a gravity fed setup on them but what I have been doing works for me.


I think a good buy in an easy to maintain airbrush is the Passche Millenium or VL models. If you get the complete set with a hose, air bottle, spray cap and a paint cup for that gravity fed type easy cleaning. You also get 3 sizes of spray tips and needles with the complete set. You can add things as needed, later. I have had my VL for 20 years and never once replaced a part except to upgrade to some minor design improvement, at my choosing, not at all necessary. Great airbrush for the money.

#9 wagonmaster


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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:04 AM

I used to think the same way that a spray can was easier and quicker to use. Until I set up my own spray booth using an old entertainment center,  I then began using the air brush more and more. only using the cans for primer. I have moved and now don't have that luxury anymore. I still break out the air brush but not as often. I have a Paasche H-series single action and a Testors double action. I however use the Paasche the most. I think it sprays better than the Testors.



#10 Modelmartin


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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:48 AM

I have been using a Paasche H for 35 years and still love it. Easy to use and clean and repair. I prefer the closed bottles and siphon feed. I mostly spray lacquer but have shot enamel, acrylic and the old Imron through it.

#11 blackandwhite


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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:54 AM

Ive noticed recently in switching to a NEO that I can use tamiyas acrylics with just increasing the pressure a little bit. I havent done much painting this way yet, but this is my personal recent discovery. prior to this I was using my paasche h series and I always found that I never mixed enough paint together, or that I had more left than I wanted. I was using the metal side cup with my H, but the NEO is great for smaller details and medium sized parts as well

#12 935k3


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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:16 PM

Less messy, any gravity feed with a proper cap. the Paasche H is okay for painting bodies but it wll never spray Alclad pains or paint  smaller parts better than a good internal mix dual action airbrush.   A good finer spraying brush is better for using tire stencils ,tinting taillights and touching up small areas in interiors and seats etc. If you ever try a Iwata Eclipse or Revolution( I have both) you will never think the H is all that anymore. For bottle/siphon feed I really like the Paasche Millenium set that comes in a beautiful wooden case. If you have the money I think it is too have both a siphon feed and a gravity feed. I also have the Paasche Talon and it is a wonderful airbrush. You can spray from a can into the large cup when you just need to touch up something. make sure you get a good name brand airbrush, they will be more reliable and easier to find parts for.

Edited by 935k3, 05 May 2014 - 04:20 PM.